ANOTHER TACK: 'Charlie' makes them laugh

When civilizations clash, it’s might that buttresses right. Without might, right perishes

A man poses with the new issue of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo at a cafe in Nice. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A man poses with the new issue of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo at a cafe in Nice.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It’s decidedly the untrendy thing to say, but all the same it must be said: The “Je suis Charlie” extravaganza is part and parcel of the political correctness that is steadily killing the West.
It’s the ineffectual affectation of those who seek to buck up their spirits while doing nothing real to actually improve their survival prospects. The sad fact of the matter is that the pen is not mightier than the sword and it never was.
When civilizations clash, it’s might that buttresses right. Without might, right perishes. In recent history, Nazism was defeated by armies and communism collapsed because facing it were military forces it couldn’t overcome.
Kitschy slogans never melted the hearts of villains and pen nibs never deflected the thrusts of cold hard steel blades.
Worse yet, the affectation serves to cover-up – often even to justify – cowardice. Self-appointed pen-warriors and their chic cheerleaders may posture and pretend, but the outright majority of them are the last on whom democracy can rely.
With “Je suis Charlie” still fresh on their lips, they already are doing their conformist darndest to sweep the truth under the rug and bamboozle all and sundry with hackneyed platitudes. A poignant example is the inanity that “love is stronger than hate,” which the Charlie Hebdo magazine satirized after it was firebombed in 2011.
The full extent of the Islamic menace is too daunting to confront and the solutions are too painfully incompatible with the gospel of multiculturalism that tolerates no heresy.
No sooner was the first Paris barbarity committed then TV screens and op-ed pages the world over featured in unanimous bon ton a host of Muslim apologists with a single message: “the killings have nothing to do with Islam.”
Some of them, prestigious professors from hallowed halls of learning like Oxford, made sure to mention Israel’s “crimes in Palestine” – the calumny that unfailingly unites the ostensible moderates and extremists on the Muslim spectrum.
Genuine soul-searching and intellectual integrity should have called the slander into question, but no such miracle manifested itself. This acute moral failure ought to inspire skepticism about the apparent introspection and honesty of those who aim to dissociate Islam from the massacres zealously committed in its name.
But keenly indulgent presenters at news outlets that invited the defenders of so-called mainstream Islam, never bothered to focus on this point. Sadly the media’s own movers and shakers solidly subscribe to the anti-Israel vilifications which they resonate with undisguised relish.
Put plainly, pen-warriors are hardly always necessarily on the side of right.
Nowhere did any anchor press the question of why it is that Muslim terrorists are the perpetrators of all the ghastly atrocities around the globe – from Argentina, to the Philippines, to Australia, to Indonesia, to Thailand, to Pakistan, to India, to Russia, to Bulgaria, to Spain, to Britain, to Belgium, to Kenya, to Nigeria, to Canada, to New York, to Boston, to Fort Hood and, hardly least, to Israel and many targets more. Muslims are the mass-murderers in Syria and Iraq and the macabre decapitators in the name of Allah.
It’s deeply disingenuous to ascribe all this – as America’s Commander in Chief Barack Obama does – to some amorphous, if despicable “senseless violence.”
This isn’t the handiwork of irrational nutcases, of frustrated slum-dwellers or of random delinquents gone toxic.
To treat this as nothing but a chance accumulation of disconnected crimes is to lose the war a priori.
The notion that the criminals can be picked off and apprehended one by one is akin to fighting WWII by going after individual Nazis one by one and thereby expecting to defeat the Third Reich. Yet this is precisely the mindset Obama boosts.
Europe’s faint-hearted leaders – all high-priests of pluralism – are as eager to appease an enemy they’d rather not name and certainly not fight in a systemic and steadfast manner. Hence they all – in one language or another – essentially repeat what Obama said when addressing Turkey’s parliament a few years back. He started off by expressing profuse appreciation “for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including in my own country.”
That led the way to his recurrent and persistent theme: “We are not at war with Islam.” By inference, neither is Islam at war with America, or, for that matter with Israel – to say nothing of any other country where Muslim terrorists have set off an explosive device or two, taken hostages or separated heads from their bodies.
Suicide-bombings, shooting sprees, skyjackings and associated mishaps – we learn from the leader of the sole superpower – are disagreeable felonies of which anyone anywhere is capable, without infrastructure, training, indoctrination, broad societal backing, etc.
True to form, Obama has variously described the perpetrators of 9/11 as “a sorry band of men” or “some small band of murderers.”
Accordingly, what’s needed to counteract them isn’t resolute and rigorous self-defense – certainly not war – but something more akin to police action. Indeed, when Osama bin Laden was terminated, it was along the lines of Melvin Purvis’s 1934 trap for John Dillinger. The “public enemy” was gunned down without trial or fuss, just as Osama would be decades later.
Like Dillinger, Osama – as per Obama – was just a super-obnoxious hood. That’s why, when announcing Bin Laden’s demise, the free world’s leading light yet again made it his point to hone the message that “we are not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”
On the narrowest pragmatic plane the sentiment isn’t without merit. Why would any democracy desire to take on the whole Muslim world? The last thing we wish or need – or ever wished or needed – is a clash of civilizations.
But complicating our wishful thinking is the not-so-negligible matter of whether this is also how militant Islam interprets things.
The issue is whether vehement Islam, whose inflammatory rhetoric reverberates worldwide, doesn’t regard itself as being at war with us. Much as we abhor conflict, the choice isn’t exclusively ours.
In this context, gushing prodigiously about “moderate Islam” is farcical. At best – if it’s at all real and not an expedient-cum-fraudulent façade – Islamic moderation cowers conveniently in a murky twilight zone, mostly mute.
If the immoderate Islamists incite to battle, can we make do with sitting back, trying to see their point of view, making nice and attempting to sooth their frenzy with brotherly blandishments? This precisely is Obama’s advice.
It’s not merely his tactic – not even a strategy – but his outright ideology.
It’s also the stuff of Europe’s cloud-cuckoo-land. It’s inherently enticing and way easier than even just keeping tabs on known extremists like the Tsarnaev or Kouachi brothers.
It’s easier than imposing a system of administrative detention (invented and occasionally resorted to by democratic Britain) against identified fanatics already under suspicion. While it may grate against PC niceties, preventative internment of a few would assure the basic right to life of the many and won’t necessitate around-theclock shadowing of each individual potential butcher.
We are at war and during wartime not every nuance of a host of civil liberties can reign supreme. Often, high-minded pronouncements about defending our civil liberties mask defeatism and Stockholm Syndrome symptoms.
Thus throughout the West the agenda is to remove the seeming pretexts for Muslim rage. This is where we come in, big-time. We, Israelis, are the much-reviled purported fly in the Arab/Muslim ointment.
As popular postmodern mythology has it, all which kindles Arab/ Muslim enmity toward Israel are the territories Israel won in the 1967 Six Day War (never mind that said war was waged in classic self-defense, imposed on a beleaguered small nation openly threatened with genocide). Consequently much of what befalls Israelis/Jews is somehow their own fault and distinct from terror against ordinary folks.
Hence, there was hardly the same outpouring of sympathy for the casualties at the Paris Jewish supermarket as for the Charlie Hebdo staff or the executed French cops. This calls to mind the censure of terror in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI who singled out innocent victims in Britain, Egypt and Turkey but conspicuously skipped over Israel – just after a suicide bombing in Netanya.
The inevitable signal this dispatches to terror kingpins is that their assaults on Jews, even if not condoned outright, nonetheless don’t arouse the same moral indignation and emotional outrage.
The inclination, subliminally or otherwise, to isolate Jews in a separate classification is pervasive.
The assumption that the bad guys aren’t primarily after non-Jews even offers a sense of semi-safety to the presumably uninvolved onlookers.
The segregation of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel terror into a different category is abetted by the two-faced denunciation of the Paris bloodshed by Mahmoud Abbas and his on-and-off Hamas partners in Gaza. They enable terror on a grand scale, but then deny culpability.
They pro forma condemn carnage but endorse, glorify and bankroll the perpetrators.
Sanctimonious pen-warriors don’t take Abbas or Hamas to task for their wrongdoing and blatant deception. Europe’s media further adds insult to injury by helping disseminate the false analogy between the demonized and dehumanized Jews of Hitler’s Germany to Europe’s Muslims who claim to be equally as collectively demonized.
Disagreeable as it surely is to tar any group collectively, there’s too much cynical PR profit in drawing this parallel for it to be taken at face value. Comparing Holocaust- era Judeophobia to Islamophobia is not only spurious but colossally galling.
For one thing, Jews never engaged in terror against Germans.
If anything, they regarded themselves as German patriots.
Then comes the minor matter of Arabs having been among the most vociferous promoters of Judeophobia in Nazi times. They still are to this day.
But Europe’s self-acclaimed pen-warriors are loath to take note, expose the chutzpah and sincerely fight against mega-hypocrisy. With rare exceptions, they are nothing like the gallant guardians of their own conceited portrayals. Their syrupy catchphrases in the end give succor to the implacable enemies of us all. “Je suis Charlie” makes the jihadists laugh. ‘Debunking the Bull,’ Sarah Honig’s book, was recently published by Gefen.